By Keisha Stanford • February 22, 2010•Writers in Residence
Nearly three years ago, I made the cross country drive from Atlanta, Georgia to Palo Alto, California to begin my first year at Stanford Law School. Only three months prior, I had just completed my master’s program in philosophy at Emory University. At the time, most of my belongings were packed in my parents’ basement, and I had no idea where I would permanently reside once I got to California. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed.
Looking back, I wonder what kept me from turning back around and returning to the life I so loved in Atlanta. I’d like to say that it was my love of the law and knowing that I was embarking on the opportunity of a lifetime, but at the time so much was unknown and I couldn’t have been certain that things would work out as they have. Whatever the reason, I am glad I kept heading West.
The last few years have been hard, but wonderful. A very meaningful relationship in my life ended, and I suffered the loss of a family member. But I have made friendships that I hope will last for years to come, and I have had my dog, Geist – a five-year-old Weimaraner – by my side through this entire journey. And I have confirmed my love of the law and carved out a place for myself at a truly amazing institution. Stanford has proved to be the opportunity of a lifetime.
But as my time at Stanford draws to a close, I marvel at what lies ahead. The next several months will bring many firsts: my first visit to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear oral arguments on a case on which I worked; my first (and hopefully only) California Bar exam; and my first day as an attorney at a firm in San Francisco. I would be lying if I said that none of this frightened me in the least bit. But having made that cross-country drive, I’m pretty hopeful that this new journey, while challenging, will prove to be enlightening and rewarding…whatever the future may bring.